With the Bureau of statistics admitting that they were unable to carry out a census on close to 5,000 households in Guyana during the last population count (census), some of the same census workers have admitted to the Guyana Guardian that the population count is way more than the figures that are known to the public.
Guyana’s population was officially tagged at around 746,000 people since 2012; practically more than half a decade ago.
But with a Bureau of Statistics admission in its 2016 report that it had missed tabulation of around 4,766 households during the said 2012 census, some have been asking what then should the real population numbers be.
The document which also admitted that thousands of households were not counted can be downloaded from the government website link: HERE.
In addition to the thousands left out by the census in 2012, an average of more than 40,000 Guyanese have returned from Venezuela, in addition to the uncounted 20,000 living interchangeably along the Brazil border State of Roraima.
Then there was a further 24,000 who had returned from the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma.
And last, but not least, there are more than 150,000 Guyanese currently listed as temporarily working or studying abroad.
That figure would have only accounted for Guyanese on extended visits abroad, those with work permits, those holding temporary residency visas, and those who may be residing illegally abroad.
However, this does not include those Guyanese in the diaspora with permanent resident status or those with leave to remain in another country indefinitely.
See related article: More than half a million Guyanese are now living abroad
Nonetheless, taking all of that into account, many believe that the country’s actual population count is somewhere around one million people.
Coincidentally, several online portals are listing Guyana’s population as 1.1 million, with others claiming it to be between 800,000 to 980,000.
But most seem to shy away from the official count provided by the State, which many have considered somewhat inaccurate.
While providing solid proof to back up an amended population count may seem difficult, existing data and admitted challenges by the Bureau of Statistics can still serve as a proper yardstick to make a reasonable insinuation that the actual population count is more than what is currently reported.
In essence, no census is entirely right, neither is it perfect in the sense of the word.
One of the major challenge-zones for Guyanese census workers who have been trying to understand the country’s actual population comes from the border region.
Many of the 20,000 Guyanese who lives between the Brazilian border state of Roraima but were actually born on the Guyana side of the border, hardly has any identity document; – which is a similar issue with those living along many of the other border communities.
On the other hand, it is believed that about half of the population in the interior border regions cannot speak English, since their primary language is either a tribal one, Spanish or Portuguese.
Considering all of these factors, obtaining Guyanese identity documents or even effectively communicating with Guyanese authorities in English can be difficult. Hence, a large number of these potential Guyanese registrants are inadvertently ignored.
Furthermore, most of the Guyanese who have returned to Guyana from Venezuela and some Hurricane Irma hit territories have basically re-settled here, and thus adding close to another 100,000 people to the population count.
It remains uncertain as to when a full scale and more effective census would be undertaken by the government so that a more conclusive population count can be arrived at.